The US Treasury has sanctioned an Iranian-linked ransomware group, blocking their Bitcoin wallets. In the statement, the bitcoin agency announced that it has also placed several sanctions on more than ten individuals associated with the group. The ransomware group is said to have ties with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which currently has a base of operation inside Iran. The statement further confirms that two unnamed companies have also been sanctioned as a punishment for their affiliation.
US Treasury says the gang has been operating since 2020
According to the complete statement of the US Treasury, everybody on the sanctions list has had a role to play in the activities of the ransomware group over the years. The statement mentioned that most of their targets were individuals and companies in the United States. The group has been actively targeting individuals in the country since 2020.
Ransomware has been prevalent across the financial market in the last few years. In the act, the hackers remotely take over systems belonging to individuals and companies with the end product in exchange for payment for unlocking and returning control of the system. Most of these hackers have been using several digital assets for payment; a typical example is the said group’s Bitcoin address which has been flagged.
New Jersey offers $10 million for information on criminals
The US Treasury said that some of the targeted groups included a hospital for children in the country, a city in New Jersey, and a group of businesses, among other corporations. The statement also mentioned that the individuals connected had been tied to different companies in the US. With the group and companies now on the sanctions list, Americans are barred from interacting or having anything to do with them. This also means that the Bitcoin address should no longer be used, as any guilty party could be prosecuted.
A New Jersey court has also charged, asides from the sanctions, three people connected to the group. There is also a reward of about $10 million for information that would lead to the capture of the said individuals. This update is coming off the back of the addition of Tornado Cash to the sanctions list. The platform is an Ethereum tool used to erase the movement of funds and is usually used by criminals to eliminate the source of crime proceeds. Although there have been shouts due to the platform being run by a smart contract, there is an existing fear of money laundering through the platform.